Friday, January 13, 2012

Setting the Record Straight on Realignment

FACTS About Realignment:
  1. Realignment is NOT an “early release program.” NO state prison inmates have been or will be released early.
  2. There have been NO inmate transfers from state prison to county jails.
  3.  CDCR does NOT decide which are “serious” or “violent” crimes; those are defined by the California Penal Code. See Penal Code 667.5(c)and Penal Code 1192.7(c)
  4. CDCR has dedicated staff at EACH institution to act as a “county liaison” to assist in sending (or transferring) inmate information to the counties.
    • CDCR sends mental health and treatment information to the counties at least 90 days before an inmate’s scheduled release. (Remember: all inmates continue to serve the legally required amount of time in state prison with NO early releases).
    • By law, prison inmates are returned to the county where they lived before incarceration after their sentences are completed. They would be in these communities normally. Realignment does not influence that.
    • Many of these offenders needed and obtained county social services before implementation of the 2011 Public Safety Realignment. Funding has been allocated by the State to the counties to alleviate any increase in demand for services by former inmates.
  5. The State HAS provided funding to the counties to help meet any increased expenses under Realignment -- $400 million in 2011, rising to more than $850 million in 2012, and more than $1 billion in 2013-2014.

What IS Realignment?

Realignment is a big change for everyone. California is legally required by a federal Three-Judge Panel (a decision affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court) to reduce prison overcrowding, and Realignment is the safest, most effective way for avoiding the wholesale early release of 33,000 inmates. Along with reducing overcrowding, Realignment will help reduce recidivism among low-level offenders who will remain closer to local support networks.

Offenders convicted AFTER October 1, 2011, of a non-serious, non-violent (Remember: this is defined by the California Penal Code, not CDCR) or non-sex offense will stay in county jail to serve their court-ordered sentences. After serving their legally required sentences, based on each inmate’s current commitment offense, inmates will report to either county probation or state parole. If the offender’s current commitment offense is for a non-serious, non-violent, or non-sex offense, the offender must report to county probation. All others will continue to report to state parole.